Restricted Return to Rowing

Following the Government’s loosening of lockdown restrictions, British Rowing has published new guidance regarding club rowing. The Club Trustees have subsequently issued new arrangements in line with BR and the EA to allow some form of rowing to return to the river. Hopefully everyone has received the newsletter but if not, please find the information below.

If you do plan on going on the river, please be aware of the fallen tree as you are coming downstream above the bridge.

Dear Members

Further to our email on 11th May 2020 we have reviewed guidance and advice from the Government, British Rowing and the Environment Agency and are able to confirm that we can now make some changes to Club operations. 

The Club remains closed, however, with effect from tomorrow, Friday 15th May 2020, those members who have their own single sculling boat may access the Club to row in their boats under certain conditions and circumstances. We appreciate that many of our members do not have their own single, however we are unable to offer use of Club equipment and facilities at this time.

New Arrangements

  • Members with their own private single scull may access the Club land and boathouses to row from the Club. Those who do not have their own private blades may borrow a set of the Club blades they usually use.
  • Members must make their own risk assessment, including weather and water conditions, competency and ability to recover from a capsize.
  • It is recommended that scullers go out with one other sculler for safety reasons. 
  • A maximum of two scullers may boat at one time and scullers must not plan to scull in groups larger than two. Maintain normal social distancing rules (2m apart) at all times.
  • Access to the gym is permitted solely as a route to the boathouse. The gym and other facilities are not to be used.
  • Be self-sufficient: arrive ready to row, fill your water bottle at home, bring sanitizer and cloths for boat and equipment cleaning.
  • To limit the number of people at the Club at any one time, think about rowing outside of the “normal” training times.

There is plenty of space to boat and follow social distancing conditions however, if congestion does become a problem then we will introduce a boating time booking system.

Additional Arrangements for Juniors with private singles

  • Juniors must contact their coach to seek permission to boat in the first instance, based on safety and competency. 
  • Juniors must be accompanied on land by one adult, either from their own or another household.
  • W/J18s may be accompanied on the water rather than land by an adult, who is not an HRC junior, in a single scull.

The Head Coaches, Leon Redman and Tony Bailes will be in touch with our juniors with more information about these arrangements.

The following are not permitted

  • Crew rowing – even by members in the same household.
  • Use of clubhouse, toilets, changing rooms and gyms.  
  • Group gatherings (more than 2 people) from different households within the grounds or premises of Henley Rowing Club.
  • Coaching.

Members should follow Government Covid-19 “Stay Alert” guidelines at all times.

  • The Government states that it is essential to keep hands and face as clean as possible.  Please bring your own hand sanitiser and apply especially when entering buildings and following contact with surfaces.  Limited sanitiser is available at the club at the present time.
  • Please use gloves or other suitable hand covering when opening/closing doors to the gym or boat houses. If you are the last to leave, please remember to ensure all doors are shut closed, put back the anti-goose device.
  • Wash anything which you have touched with soap and water especially communal surfaces (door handles, tap etc.) and sculling blade handles.
  • Keep your distance – remain at least 2m apart at all times, no more than 2 people on the long pontoon, wait until the pontoon is clear before landing.
  • Members who fall within the “vulnerable” category should be mindful of specific Government advice.

We appreciate that this is a small step enabling a few to get back to rowing at the present time. We will continue to review further guidance as it becomes available and allow a wider access to rowing and equipment for more members in the future where possible. We are currently reviewing British Rowing guidance issued yesterday, including the use of shared boats, and will communicate with you again soon. 

British Rowing Safety Advice (amended for HRC) for rowers returning to rowing now is set out below.

If anyone has any questions in relation to the above please let us know. If there are problems or difficulties while at the Club, please contact Francis Goodwin on 07733 001781.

Helen Turnell, Margaret Hall, Barry Redman, Francis Goodwin, Nic Mead

HRC trustees

14th May 2020

British Rowing Safety Advice (amended for HRC)

       Getting to the Club

  • Before leaving check the weather and water conditions. If in doubt stay at home.
  • Let someone know you are going for an outing, the nature of your outing and when you expect to return.
  • All athletes should arrive at the club using personal transportation. It is not advisable to use public transport.
  • Athletes should arrive at the club in the clothing they will use while rowing. Changing rooms are not available.
  • Arrival at the Club
  • Avoid attending at the same time as other members.
  • Only access parts of the club which you have to in order to get your equipment out.
  • Carry your own hand sanitizer and use it to wash your hands. Do not move or touch any objects in the club until this is done.
  • Do a personal risk assessment. Are the weather conditions and water conditions as you expected? If in doubt do not go out.
  • If any equipment in the club needs to be moved, make sure social distancing is observed.
  • Getting Boats Out
  • Consider washing your boat and blades before using them. You do not know who might have been in contact with them.
  • If you need help getting your boat out maintain social distancing.
  • Maintain social distancing if you are having to wait to get your boat onto a pontoon.
  • On the Water
  • Always carry a mobile phone or other means of calling for help in a waterproof case attached to the boat or yourself.
  • Whenever possible row with someone else, using the buddy system. If you get into difficulties, there is someone to give immediate assistance.
  • Keep a good look out. Most incidents in rowing are caused by failing to do this.
  • Returning from the Outing
  • Wash your boat and blades before putting them away.
  • Once all equipment has been stored use your sanitiser to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not use changing facilities.
  • Take all your belongings away with you.
  • Notes for Athletes
  • It has been several weeks since rowing was allowed, do not overexert yourself in the first few outings.
  • The lack of boat activity on waterways has allowed nature to reclaim habitats. Take care to avoid the disturbance of nesting birds and other wildlife that may have returned to the water.
  • Remember a coaching launch can not rescue you if you get into difficulties.